Reach Twice the Audience of a Super Bowl Ad with Radio

Written By

Payne Ratner

Published On

Monday, Feb 26
Man recording an advertisement on the radio station.
Marketers paid a reported $6.47 million for a network TV spot aired during the Super Bowl, reaching over 100 million viewers for 30 seconds.

What might have been a wiser investment? Radio. 


For the cost of a Superbowl ad, a marketer could reach over twice the audience (214 million radio listeners) for weeks or months—as opposed to just 30 seconds. For one-fifth of the cost of a Super Bowl ad, a marketer could reach half of the 25-54 demo in a monthly network radio campaign, Inside Audio Marketing reported. “At $300,000 per month, an audio campaign can achieve the same number of impressions as one 30-second Superbowl ad,” said SMI’s Senior Media Buyer Josh Knock. 


In addition to a wider audience, audio campaigns provide numerous benefits. Here are some key advantages outlined by SMI’s Media Team:


  • There is no frequency with Super Bowl ad placements. With Audio, campaigns are developed to build and achieve frequency and brand awareness, whether it is through a targeted AM/FM campaign or through a multi-platform (SXM, Streaming, AM/FM) approach.
  • Frequency is important for consumer response. It is believed that an average listener needs to be exposed to a brand seven times prior to taking an action.


  • With audio, if creative messaging does not prove effective, messaging can be changed with ease, making it a low-risk medium for advertisers. With Super Bowl ad placements, this is not doable. There is only one shot of resonating with the audience.
  • Audio advertisers have the ability to pivot should performance be a factor.


More Creativity

  • Due to the relatively low production costs associated with radio, it is easier to test multiple creatives in order to understand how messaging resonates with the listener.


  • For campaigns that are geo-targeted in nature, audio can easily target those geos, allowing for minimal waste in advertising dollars.
  • Audio campaigns can also target specific demographics relevant to the product or service that is being marketed.
    • Super Bowl ad rates are based on total reach, of hitting an extremely large viewership. Audio rates are reflective of rates needed in order to reach a target audience for the product or service, whether that audience is women 25-54, adults over 25, men 35-64, etc. 


  • Although people watch Superbowl ads, they are likely to be distracted while doing so, as there are a lot of other things going on at the same time. “A large majority of people are not actually engaged in watching TV ads,” said Network Buyer Jared Kulaga. “An example to support this can be seen in the increase in technology that allows viewers to skip ad placements, or to not receive ads at all.”
  • Audio, on the other hand, is consumed in an environment in which there is less distraction—such as in the car or streaming at work—which enables audiences to pay greater attention. 

“There is a fascination with watching Super Bowl ads,” said Senior Media Buyer Pam Wolfgram. “The fascination comes from the entertainment value that the ads present with the use of humor, the eliciting of emotions and the inclusion of celebrities in the ads.” However, for savvy marketers looking to reach wide audiences in order to raise brand awareness and drive sales, ad dollars would be better spent on audio.

At SMI, media plans are built to accommodate client budgets with the objective of achieving campaign goals. We consider targeted demographics, geographic restrictions, and behavioral components such as household income and education to pinpoint the most effective channels for growing your brand.

Are you ready to reach audiences with a cost-effective audio strategy? Contact SMI today.

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